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Molloy-SFP softball rivalry hard to play down

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"To me it's not really a rivalry game," St. Francis Prep star pitcher Krystil Hofmann said. "In every game I feel like both teams play hard and both have potential."

That's what the Dowling College-bound hurler said after she led the Terriers to a 4-2, extra-inning victory against the Stanners Friday at Cunningham Park.

A little bit later, St. Francis Prep coach Ann Marie Rich was yelling at Hofmann and her teammates, who were mocking Molloy's incessant in-game chanting in the direction of a few Stanners players.

Last year, a St. Francis Prep player called Molloy "classless" for the way they celebrated their first CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens Diocesan softball title.

Rivalry? What rivalry?

Hofmann went the entire nine innings, striking out 11 and walking three as St. Francis Prep improved to a perfect 11-0 in the league. The senior scattered five hits, gave up one earned run and also scored an insurance run in the ninth inning, sliding under the tag of fellow hurler Janelle Boyd on a wild pitch.

It appeared that Hofmann had something to say to Boyd on her way to the Prep dugout, but Hofmann said that wasn't the case.

"My foot kind of got caught by home plate so I was trying to get up," she said. "We were intertwined like pretzels."

Boyd, who was perfect through four innings, also downplayed the rivalry.

"Of course I want to get them next time, but that's the competitiveness of the games," she said. "It makes it fun. We'll get them. I'm not worried."

Boyd also went the distance, striking out five and walking three, while giving up three earned runs. She also hit a batter Hofmann in the ninth inning.

After retiring the first 12 batters she faced, Boyd gave up two runs on two hits and an error as the Terriers rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning. It was the fifth time this year St. Francis Prep came from behind to win a league game.

A two-out error opened the door for Molloy (10-2) in the bottom of the frame and Sheri Florio tied the game with a single to right-center. Julia Lipovac appeared poised to score the go-ahead run, but she tripped over the third-base bag and was slow picking herself up off the dirt.

"I think we blew it ourselves," Molloy coach Maureen Rosenbaum said. "We gave the game to them a little bit. When Julia rounded third base and fell, that was the start of it...They played better than us."

With the international rule in effect in extra innings, which puts the batter who made the last out in the previous stanza at second base to open the inning, Valerie Tratner's single to right drove in Johanna Rice for what proved to be the game-winning run.

"She was throwing well today," Tratner said of Boyd. "I guess we just figured her out and started going with the pitches to right."

The two teams meet for the third and final time during the regular season Friday and could meet three more times in the postseason. It's yet another chapter in the most heated rivalry in Queens softball.

"A lot of these kids play travel ball in the summer, their parents know each other from their parishes, their churches," St. Francis Prep coach Ann Marie Rich said. "You always know when you come to this kind of game, you're going to have those kind of players who are going to give you their all."

Rivalry? What rivalry?

Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at dbutler@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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